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Thread: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

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    Question Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    Hi Everyone,

    My first post to the forum is a request for help! I needed to drain a portion of my pool to lower my CYA, and I forgot to turn off the auto timer for the pump/filter while it was refilling. So I came home yesterday to find the pump running (dry) and it had been on for 4-5 hours. It was smoking hot. I let it cool and managed to re-prime. It is 'working' BUT, I see a steady drip coming from the pump in the area between the basket (volute?) and the motor, and there is continuous air in the basket as well as bubbles coming from the return lines in the pool.

    I have not dis-assembled. On the surface, nothing appears melted or warped but I'm assuming I damaged internal components. My questions are:

    1. Is it possible to fix?

    2. Is it difficult to remove / dis-assemble?

    3. What should I check for/replace if I take it apart?

    4. The pump is in its 8th season. Is it worth it to fix, or should I accept my (costly/stupid) mistake and replace? I don't know their lifespan.

    Here's the current setup. It's a Pentair WhisperFlo (Model WFE-26)
    20150820_191457.jpg

    I can post more pictures, but wanted to get some initial thoughts...

    Thanks in advance!

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    You may have only damaged the seal between the wet end (basket) and the dry end (motor). I would check into replacing that seal first to see if that remedies the problem. It could also be the shaft seal that was damaged. Here is a pretty darn good video on shaft seal replacement.

    How to change a shaft seal on a swimming pool pump - YouTube

    Welcome to TFP!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    The only damage done should be the seal. If you are not comfortable changing it, I am willing to bet your local pool store could help you out.

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    zombiejeep's Avatar
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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    Yep, you blew a seal.

    It is not a hard fix at all, but if you have doubts, there are people that would gladly take your money and fix it for you.
    21' Revelation AGP ~10,500 gal, Pentair SD60 Sand Filter w/ 1 1/2 HP Dynamo Pump, TF-100 Kit
    Installed 07/25/2015 with city water.

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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    I did that a few weeks ago (wasn't intentionally lowered, but we had a dry summer)... Skimmed went totally dry, didn't notice.

    I lost all water pressure, online said clogged impeller. Opened it up, the O-ring between diffuser an impeller came off, got sucked into impeller, impeller ring cracked and sucked in, and diffuser was shredded. This all seems really complicated, right?

    Nope, hardest part of the job is disconnecting/reconnecting the motor (4 Screws or a sealing ring). The parts just stack.

    My suggestion, is to order from a place that will take returns, EVERYTHING between the basket and the motor. Then, open the sucker up, replace anything warn, and replace the other parts.

    It's an EASY fix, just have everything so you're not taking it apart constantly... it's annoying.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    Yardley, most good pool stores will sell what they call a "GO" kit for your specific pump which will include the seal, o-rings, etc. That will make your job easier.

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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    Thanks everyone for your guidance. I watched a few you tube videos and am comfortable taking the motor off and changing the seal(s) -- saw the 'GO' kit online and will order that. A couple of follow ups:

    1. Can this wait until after the pool is closed or should I do now? (Planning on closing the pool right after Labor Day)

    2. I also see water leaking from the top of the volute where the vertical PVC pipe is connected. The connector doesn't appear loose. Any thoughts?

    Many thanks again!

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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    Happened to me and I had to replace the intake connections on the pump and seal on the outlet side but did not have to replace the shaft seal.
    20x49 double roman 3.5' to 8.5 deep', 44,000 gal. SWG, TF-100 test kit with speed stir, concrete walls with vinyl liner, cartridge filter on an IG pool with a 1hp main pump and 1.5hp booster pump. Pool built April 2013

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    Re: Accidentally ran pool pump dry (4-5 hours)

    I mean, I ran mine during this time. Over time the low flow and other problems let to algae blooms and other problems. If you can keep the pool going and safe to swim in, I don't see any reason to close the pool early if you're going to deal with it in a week plus.

    The leak will cost you water. In terms of the leak at the top, I couldn't get it open after this, wasn't hand tighten/loosen-able. Big wrench, opened it up, lubed up gasket, tightened, and it was fine.

    This is about a 90 minute job to do if you have all the parts (GO Kit, the Diffuser parts in case the problem spread).

    I'm guessing I'll be told it isn't the TFP way, but if you're going to close the pool in two weeks, I'd do what I can to keep it going until then. Then be ready to redo everything in the spring before reopening, but I'm not a perfectionist with my pool, I want to swim, taking care of it is a means to an end in my mind.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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